Do we really think the Lenovo Horizon Table PC will launch a nation-sweeping trend of computer-based family game nights? No.
What the Horizon does do, though, is demonstrate that the PC industry still has plenty of interesting ideas.
You can read our full. The gist of it though is that it's a 27-inch Windows 8 all-in-one touch-screen computer that you can lay down flat. It also has a battery. You would not use this giant computer as a walk-around-the-house device, but its portability does mean that you can set it up in a den, and then pull it out to use on a coffee table without dealing with the power cable.
Lenovo ships the Horizon with a software environment designed for multiuser input, and it's also shipping a library of apps -- over 3,000, says Lenovo -- as well as an assortment of physical input designed to work with those apps. Communal fun and games should theoretically ensue.
Some of you might use the Horizon that way. But Lenovo demonstrated two other modes that suggest some more exciting possibilities.
One has the Horizon attached to a rolling stand that turns it into a kind of mobile interactivity station. Hospitals, schools, businesses, and other institutions could find such a setup amazingly useful.
The other mode puts the Horizon inside a specialized coffee table with a motorized cover that can keep the system hidden and protected when you're not using it, and then give you a fantastic multiuser gathering place when you are.
Lenovo is still deciding whether to offer the stand to consumers in the U.S. And for now the coffee table is just a concept (and will surely be expensive if it ever becomes a real product).
Asus has a compelling design on its hands in the, effectively merging a standard all-in-one Windows PC with removable 18.4-inch screen that can become an Android tablet. That system has obvious appeal, but the 18.4-inch screen means some compromise in its all-in-one mode. is also worthy, but it's really just an extension of the laptop/tablet mashups we already saw around the launch of Windows 8 this past fall.
Lenovo's Horizon Table PC received the award in the PCs and tablets category because it offers multiple new ways to use a computer, including a new way to integrate a PC into your home. It inspires conversation and some new thinking, and for that the Horizon deserves recognition.